10/2 – Yankees at Rays

YANKEES (102-57)
Jeter SS
Hairston LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Swisher RF
Posada C
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Molina DH

Pitching: LHP CC Sabathia (19-7, 3.21)

RAYS (82-77)

Bartlett SS
Crawford LF
Longoria 3B
Zobrist 2B
Aybar 1B
Kapler RF
Upton CF
Navarro C
Perez DH

Pitching: LHP David Price (9-7, 4.60)

Tonight the Yankees play Game No. 160, the first of a three-game weekend series at Tropicana Field and what looked – at least on the schedule – like it would have been an important series. It still is, but for a different reason — here is CC Sabathia’s first ever chance at a 20-win season, and Joe Girardi said that there is a feeling in the clubhouse that the Yankees will do whatever it takes to help him win.

“He’s been at the forefront,” Girardi said. “He’s taken charge of the rotation and if you look at what he’s done, the innings he’s given you, most nights he almost gives the bullpen a complete night off. He’s been instrumental in our second half surge.”

Of course, to Sabathia, this is a tune-up for the really important stuff – the big picture, the start on Wednesday in Game 1. But who would say no to a 20-win season? Here’s a stat to remember as they prepare to face David Price:

The Yankees are a Major League-best 36-17 (.679) vs. left-handed starters in 2009…have won 15 of their last 19G against LH starters…lead the Majors with a .289 (487-for-1,685) batting average vs. LHP…SS Derek Jeter is tops in the AL (second in the Majors) in batting average (.402, 70-for-174) and in OBP (.475) vs. LHP (third in the Majors).

More updates — Girardi said that he’d like to see Dave Robertson throw an inning tonight and again on Sunday. Phil Hughes should also see some time tonight. Expect to see Freddy Guzman get put into a running situation as the Yankees still try to figure out if they should carry both him and Brett Gardner in the ALDS.

There has been no thought given to having a player-coach for the last game of the season on Sunday. Girardi said he might hand the lineup card to Jorge Posada, who probably won’t be catching A.J. Burnett that afternoon.

There will be no workout on Monday at Yankee Stadium, a complete off-day for the Yankees. They’ll be on the field Tuesday in the Bronx.

The Yankees WWE Belt auction ended on Thursday, will the winning bid coming in at $9,450…all proceeds of the auction will go to Camp Sundown and the XP Society, who visited Yankee Stadium during HOPE Week…RHP A.J. Burnett is credited with organizing the effort in which all his teammates signed the belt in order to raise money for the organization which aids children sufferers of Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic disease which causes the body to be unable to repair cells damaged by UV light.


1of5, The lineup was not the problem tonight. CC has been his own worst enemy tonight. Joe said the team will do everything they can to get CC his 20th, Too bad he failed to cooperate. I hope he got this game out of his system. We need a grand showing in his next start. I too was shocked to see Molina DH, It makes little sense and proves nothing. As you said we need momentum going into the first round.


Bring in Alba and add to the lead. What’s he doing in the bull pen anyway? he’s been lousy all year. Hopefully they won’t be carrying him on the roster into the playoffs? No pitching, no hitting tonight. Is this a bad omen heading into the playoffs. Did they sew up the division and the home field advantage too soon and now coasting and are going to get a rude awakening when they hit that first round playoff team? Because either Minnesota or Detroit are having to battle right down to the wire to get in. Could be to their advantage in a best of 5 series.


Now it’s a blowout. CC won’t reach 20. A real bad night. Hopefully his start in the playoffs won’t be like this. It could be a short series if it is. No offence so far from the yankees either.


CC in trouble still. Not a good outing. He’s not going to last very long and won’t get his 20th. He’s getting hit too much and his pitch count is too high. He’s having trouble finding the strike zone.


Nice monologue tonight. Talking to myself. Obviously with the Yankees in, bloggers have taken a sabbatical until it really counts.


Jeter has had two ground outs so far with men on base. Danger of a team that has made the playoffs and won the division to drift into the playoffs without momentum or intensity and get slammed by the first team they face. Hope that doesn’t happen to the Yanks this year.


What did I tell you? Molina is useless as a hitter. He’ll get out every time at the plate tonight until they send in a pinch hitter for him. I can’t understand why he’s the backup even going into the playoffs with Cervelli on the bench.


Now its 4-0 in the first inning. Unbelievable. CC is sure making it hard on himself. Hopefully this is not an indication of things to come in the playoffs.


Great. CC walks in a run. He hasn’t got his best stuff tonight. He’s going to have to pitch a lot better to get his 20th win.


Looks like the Yankees have the 1st inning jitters. CC is walking guys and giving up hits and Tex commits an error. Bases loaded and no outs. Not a good way to start.


If the yankees are trying to get CC his 20th win why would they DH Molina? He’s about the worst hitter they have on the team. Better Gardner or Cervelli than Molina. Not a good decision I don’t think. Yankees are going to have to depend on their pitching tonight with having Molina and Hairston in the lineup.


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